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Aims & Philosophy of the Music Department

The Music Department at Queen Margaret’s aims to challenge and inspire girls through a broad range of musical experiences and opportunities inside and outside the classroom. The lively department, situated at the heart of the School, the department consists of three full time members and seventeen visiting music staff.

The opportunities for music making at QM are many and varied and our approach allows girls to experience music in a variety of ways. We offer a wide variety of opportunities for musicians of any standard; girls choosing to take individual music lessons will take part in some element of group music making during the course of the year as part of the conditions for taking lessons. In embracing all styles of music, we provide many opportunities for various forms to be learned and performed. We also believe music making should extend well beyond graded exams and seek to provide many out of school opportunities for our musicians.

Overview of Key Stage 5 Curriculum

In Years 12 & 13, girls spend their A Level years following the OCR syllabus, which is composed of three core units. At AS Level, the Performing aspect will require girls to produce a live recital and viva voce which will be assessed by a visiting examiner. The Composing unit will require girls to produce a portfolio of work which will be assessed by their teacher. The Introduction to Historical Study in Music unit is an externally assessed examination which lasts two hours. The questions are meant to test the girls’ general aural ability and specific knowledge of prescribed orchestral and jazz works.

At A2 Level, the Performing aspect requires girls to perform a live recital, lasting no longer than 15 minutes and viva voce assessed by a visiting examiner. The repertoire chosen must demonstrate a detailed understanding of a single style or genre. The Composing unit will require girls to produce a portfolio of work which will be assessed by their teacher. The Introduction to Historical Study in Music unit is an externally assessed examination lasting two hours. The questions are based on accompanied vocal music written between 1900 and 1945 and is one of the five prescribed Historical Topics.

What makes the Department unique from those at other schools?

There are many facets that make Queen Margaret’s a special place to make music. The department prides itself on inclusivity and quality; whether rehearsing with Grade 8 standard musicians or our Year I classroom ensembles, our students are encouraged to strive for their very best and to have fun in the process. The result is a department with a strong sense of community and students that support one another and celebrate in each other’s achievements. We hope that girls leave Queen Margaret’s equipped to enjoy and make music for life, having benefited from a wide variety of musical endeavours. Some of these opportunities include concerts both in school and the wider community, workshops with professional musicians and student-led projects. In recognising that today’s musicians have a plethora of genres, styles and disciplines available to them, the department strives to encompass all music: from our strong tradition of choral excellence to embracing emerging music technology and everything in between.

To learn about the Art Department curriculum
in other Key Stages please choose a link